World Youth Day contest welcomes Catholic filmmakers

Panama City, Panama, Jul 23, 2018 / 02:37 pm (CNA).- A Catholic film ministry has opened a contest for the 2019 World Youth Day to encourage young cinematographers to create short movies promoting truth, beauty, and goodness.

“We’re looking for any opportunity to nurture the next generation of young movie makers, video artists, and those looking to showcase their story through the powerful medium of film,” said Suzanne Haugh, founder and director of Goodness Reigns.

The name of the contest is “Share the Story,” and includes four categories – top film for teens 18 and under, top film for adults over 18, best video with original music, and best profile of a current charity or missionary. The winner of each category will receive $1,000.

The contest is officially part of the World Youth Day 2019 in Panama City, Panama. Selected films will be shown at the youth event on January 22-27. The films can be up to 7 minutes long, and submissions for all categories are due by midnight October 15.

The submissions will be critiqued based on the filmmakers’ ability to communicate the message, engage with youth, develop original content, and prompt reflection.

The topics may include teachings of the Church, the lives of the saints, and stories from the bible. The films may also portray the sacraments, social justice concerns, and missionary outreach.

Goodness Reigns, a Kentucky-based organization, has participated in the previous three World Youth Days in Madrid, Rio, and Kraków. Organizers said the contest promotes a “missionary dynamism,” and also helps filmmakers improve their craft and build connections.

“If we can also help connect these budding directors to industry professionals who can help improve their craft or technique, then that’s a bonus!” said Haughs.

A contest winner in 2011, Gabriel Castillo is one of those people. In addition to sharing spiritual reflections on a YouTube for more than 10 years, Castillo developed Goodness Reigns Film School – a free, online resource for cinema instruction.

“Sometimes it’s about knowing that as an aspiring filmmaker, you are not alone,” said Castillo. “Goodness Reigns has fostered an amazing community of young filmmakers, who can share their ideas – and their faith – with World Youth Day and the Church as a whole.”

More information about the “Share the Story” contest can be found at


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